This record is held by Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies

Details of NR13
Reference: NR13

The United Reformed Church was founded in October 1972 by union of the Congregational Church in England and Wales and the Presbyterian Church of England.


However not all the churches belonging to these two denominations agreed to accept the 1972 Scheme of Union. The records of those Hertfordshire churches which remained separate are catalogued under the reference NC.




NR13/1 Church Books


NR13/2 Church Meeting


NR13/3 Deacons


NR13/4 Registers


NR13/5 Church Committees and Organizations


NR13/6 Church Finance


NR13/7 Church Property


NR13/8 Sunday School


NR13/10 Membership


NR13/12 Church Magazines


NR13/13 Miscellaneous




NR1 Barnet, Wood Street United Reformed Church


NR2 Bushey United Reformed Church


NR3 Barley United Reformed Church


NR4 St Albans, Trinity United Reformed Church


NR5 Letchworth Free Church


NR6 Ware United Reformed Church


NR7 Royston United Reformed Church


NR8 Hitchin United Reformed Church


NR9 Radlett United Reformed Church


NR10 Wheathampstead United Reformed Church


NR11 Hemel Hempstead, Adeyfield Free Church (affiliated to the United Reformed Church


NR12 Bishops Stortford United Reformed Church


NR13 Harpenden United Reformed Church


NR14 Hertford United Reformed Church


NR15 New Barnet United Reformed Church


NR16 Knebworth United Reformed Church

Date: 1822 - 1995
Related material:

For histories of the Church and pastorate see G. Williams' Harpenden Congregational Church: The Record of a Hundred Years (NR13/13/3) and Mary Skinner's Gathered Together: A History of Harpenden United Reformed Church (NR13/13/58).


For Walkern United Reformed Church see D/EX838

Held by: Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Harpenden United Reformed Church, Harpenden, Hertfordshire

Harpenden Congregational Church, Harpenden, Hertfordshire

Physical description: 233 files
Immediate source of acquisition:

Records concerning Harpenden United Reformed Church deposited in the Record Office on 27 February 1976 and 26 February 1977 by the Church Secretary and 10 March 1997 by the Hon. Treasurer to the Church.


Accessions 1494, 1564 and 3229

  • Harpenden, Hertfordshire
  • Religion
Administrative / biographical background:



Harpenden Congregational Church was established as an Independent chapel in Harpenden Hall by the Revd Maurice Phillips who had come to Harpenden to open a Grammar School for Dissenters. The church was officially opened on 1 May with seven members on the roll. They invited the minister of the Independent Chapel at Spicer St. The Grammar School provided deputy pastors. In 1826, however, it was felt that the minister at St Albans did not attend the services at Harpenden frequently enough, (once a month was the target) and so they invited the Minister of Redbourn to take over. He accepted and from 5 November 1826 the Lord's Supper was celebrated once a month.


In March 1829 the first two deacons were appointed and by 1831 it was felt that it was the right time to call a full time minister. Mr Barker was inducted on 5 April 1832. The church was striving to become independent of the Grammar School, but because their income consisted solely of the collections made at weekly services they were unable to do so. By 1840 the membership had swelled to 50. Up until then all meetings had been held at Harpenden Hall, the site of the Grammar School, but the Grammar School had closed and the premises were to be let. The church purchased land on Amenbury Lane (also known as Stackhouse or Stackers Lane) and erected a chapel at a cost of £474. It was opened for worship on 14 July 1840.


In 1868 the Independent Chapel affiliated itself to the Congregational Church at Luton which provided preachers and a pastor to celebrate the Lord's Supper when necessary. From 1870-1880 the pastorate was looked after by students of the New College Preaching Station Society of Hampstead, London. In 1880, however, the pastorate was offered to the pastor of Redbourn to hold in tandem with his own. In 1881 the church called its own pastor once more.


By March 1892 it was obvious that there was a need for a bigger church. In December 1894 trustees for the new church building were appointed. A site costing £450 in Station Rd had been bought earlier with a view to building a new church, however, it was decided to sell this site and to buy a site in Vaughan Rd. The foundation stone was laid on 22 July 1896 and the church, opened for worship on 3 March 1897, cost £2600. The organ, a second hand instrument made by Wedlake of Chalk Farm, London, was installed a few years later. The old chapel in Amenbury Lane was used initially as a Sunday School, but was sold in 1904 and the lecture hall and Sunday School were erected on an unused part of the church grounds adjoining Victoria Rd.


In August 1910 the Church took over responsibility for the mission church in Luton Rd, Harpenden from Luton Baptist Church. The mission had a flourishing Sunday School and was run as a branch church. In the 1920s a new building programme was planned for this area to meet the needs of the church.


In 1971 the Congregational Church became a United Reformed Church.

Link to NRA Record:

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